Michael N. Henderson Speaks On Discovering His Revolutionary War Patriot
Michael N. Henderson, Retired Lieutenant Commander USN, spoke to the Philadelphia Winn Chapter NSDAR during its monthly meeting on September 16, 2012. Henderson, who lives in Sugar Hill, spoke on discovering his Revolutionary War Patriot.
"When I first began tracing my history," he said, "I wasn't interested in finding a patriot." Then he found documentation on his fourth great-grandmother, Agnes, who was a slave and who gained her freedom in a court battle with the aid of Mathieu Devaux, a veteran of the Revolutionary War. Agnes and Mathieu produced seven children, one of whom was Henderson's ancestor.
Henderson credited American principles described in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence and those who fought for them as bringing about freedom for Agnes. "Our military is still fighting for those principles," he said. Henderson himself joined the United States Navy, serving his country in the same spirit set forth by Devaux.
When conducting family research, Henderson noted, "People of color may find information they don't feel good about." Nevertheless, he encourages them not to stop. Henderson was the first in his family to pursue membership in the National Society Sons of the American Revolution. Today he is the president of the Button Gwinnett Chapter, Georgia Society SAR. So far, he has three SAR-certified Revolutionary War Patriots, and will have ten altogether once he receives the required documentation.
The NSSAR and the NSDAR have genealogists who will help you trace your family history. If you are interested in joining the NSSAR, please email www.sar.org. If you are interested in joining the NSDAR, please email www.sar.org. If you are interested in joining the NSDAR, please email email@example.com.